Pope Urges Protection of Italy's Christian Heritage

In a Letter to President of the Chamber of Deputies

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2003 (Zenit.org).- In a message to the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, John Paul II said that the «human and religious wealth» of the country’s Christian heritage must be safeguarded.

In the text, published Tuesday by the Vatican press office, the Pope recalled his historic visit to the Italian Parliament on Nov. 14, 2002, the first time a Successor of Peter entered the Chamber of the Montecitorio Palace.

In fact, on Monday the Parliament celebrated the anniversary of the papal visit with a concert and a reading of John Paul II’s poetry.

In his message to Pier Ferdinando Casini, the Pope thanked him for the «unanimous support» his address received a year ago, and highlighted the peninsula’s Christian tradition, saying that the Church in Italy «has been the leaven of civilization.»

«For centuries, the Gospel — proclamation of faith, hope and charity — has been the vital lymph of the Italian people, animating in a thousand ways the quest for the good, the true and the beautiful,» the Holy Father said.

The Pontiff emphasized that, in its fundamental principles, Italy’s republican Constitution itself reflects «in an eloquent and ever valid way the evangelical truth on man and society.»

Italians have been bearers of this heritage «in all parts of the planet» thanks «to the testimonies of Christian faith inherited from their parents in the land of their birth,» he added.

This spiritual patrimony must be protected, «because it represents a good for the whole of the civil community,» John Paul II said.

He concluded by saying that he was certain that «the beneficial cooperation that exists between the Holy See and the Italian republic» would contribute to this commitment.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation